Unbeaten heavyweight contender Andy Ruiz Jr. (29-0, 19 Kos) believes he’s going to have success with pressuring #1 WBO Joseph Parker (21-0l 18 KOs) when the two of them face each other next month for the vacant World Boxing Organization heavyweight title at the Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.
Ruiz Jr. has studied the past fights of the 24-year-old Parker, and he’s noticed that he can’t fight well going backwards. #3 WBO Ruiz Jr. wasn’t impressed with how Parker fought in his narrow 12 round unanimous decision win over Carlos Takam last May in their fight in the WBO heavyweight eliminator bout.
Parker, 6’4”, won the fight by the scores of 116-112, 116-112 and 115-113. Parker showed good boxing skills and excellent mobility in that fight. Where Parker failed to look good was with his work rate, and his tendency to move too much. Parker should have stood and fought Takam a little more, because he had the punching power to give him problems.
Ruiz Jr. said this to Fight News about his observations of Parker:
“In his fight against Carlos Takam he didn’t really look that good, he’s not good fighting backward,” Ruiz said. “That’s going to be my advantage, pursuing him and throwing my combinations.”
Ruiz Jr. is going to need to use quick feet if he wants to get to Parker to land his big power shots, because he’s looked slow on his feet in the past. Ruiz Jr. can hit hard, and he has fast hands, but his heavy build and slow feet are problems. Parker is going to take advantage of Ruiz’s slow feet by boxing circles around him December 10.
Ruiz Jr. looked terrible in his fight against Sergey Liakhoivich in 2014. He won the fight by a 10 round unanimous decision, but it was close. Liakhovich wore Ruiz Jr. down by throwing a lot of punches, moving an little, and taking the shots that Ruiz Jr. did land. That fight showed that Ruiz has a lot of flaws in his game that need fixing if he wants to win a world title.